Topic 16: माफ़ कीजिए। Excuse me.

Context: Jaspreet is working in a restaurant where she sees a customer has dropped something under their table, so she goes over and speaks to them.

Notes: Politeness in Hindi

Politeness in Hindi is shown in many ways and one of them is by the use of set phrases in some contexts, such as.
  • माफ़ कीजिए ‘Excuse me/Forgive me’ said one speaking to somebody unexpectedly or when asking to be forgiven for something (literally ‘foregiveness do’ also said in more formal Hindi as क्षमा कीजिए).
  • मुझे अफ़सोस है । ‘I’m sorry’ said when expressing regret about something the speaker has done (literally ‘me-to regret is’)
  • अफ़सोस की बात है ‘That’s a pity’ said when hearing something which is unfortunate (literally, ‘regret’s matter is’ i.e. ‘That’s a matter of regret’)
  • धन्यवाद ‘thankyou’ said normally only when expressing genuine thanks, not just as a polite response (sometimes also said as शुक्रिया)
  • कोई बात नहीं ‘no matter’ a traditional response to somebody saying thankyou to you (literally ‘any matter not’)
  • कृपया ‘please’ normally said only when asking for a real favour rather than simply when making a request.
  • जी acts as a kind of polite particle and is used in several ways. It is used as a polite form of address like sir/madam. It is used before yes/no to show respect to the person you are speaking to. It is used after a person’s community title (surname) to show formal respect, or after their personal name/title to show a kind of friendly polite respect.

Note: learn these sentences now as phrases, the grammar comes later in the course.